Multiple Group 1 winner Le Romain has put himself into contention for a slot in the 2018 The Everest with a tough first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Nexon Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Le Romain lumped 61kg to victory at his first run back since finishing second to Impending in the Group 1 $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben on May 26 and trainer Kris Lees is adamant that the six year old would be very competitive in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
“He’s a little underrated,” Lees told AAP.
“He’s played at the highest level for a long while and it’s good to see get a win. If the Everest happens, it happens.
“There are races either side or he could get to an Epsom.”
Le Romain is a three times Group 1 winner but hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since his victory in the Group 1 $500,000 BMW Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Le Romain was unable to find the winner’s stall during his 2018 Autumn Carnival campaign but was Group 1 placed on three occasions and as well as finishing second in the Kingsford-Smith Cup, was also runner up in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick and was third in the Group 1 $700,000 Kirin Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben.
Early betting for The Everest at Ladbtrokes.com.au has Le Romain marked at $31 while the Gerald Ryan trained Trapeze Artist is the $4.80 favourite ahead of last year’s winner Redzel at $5.50.
The Darren Weir trained Nature Strip is another sprinter who is yet to secure a slot in The Everest but sits on the third line of betting at $7 alongside of the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic.
Confirmed runners for the 2018 The Everest: Trapeze Artist (Aquis, slot holder), In Her Time (TAB), Redzel (Yulong Investments), Brave Smash (Chris Waller Racing), Shoals (The Star), English (Damion Flower), Santa Ana Lane (Inglis) and U S Navy Flag (Coolmore), Vega Magic (James Harron), three remaining slots yet to be filled.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Trapeze Artist, $5.50 Redzel, $7 Nature Strip, Vega Magic, $11 Pierata, $12 In Her Time, Kementari, $14 U S Navy Flag, $15 Shoals, $16 Santa Ana Lane, Invincible Star, $21 Brave Smash, $26 English, Winx, $31 Happy Clapper, Le Romain, $41 Showtime, $51 or better the rest.